Monday, September 13, 2010

ttyl by Lauren Myracle

First published 2004.

On the first day of tenth grade, best friends Maddie (mad maddie), Angela (SnowAngel), and Zoe (zoegirl) vow not to let school stupidness get them down . . . or split them apart. But as the weeks pass and the instant messages accumulate, it's clear that tenth grade will be a roller coaster ride of boy temptation, math torture, donut emergencies, and Queen Bee encounters. Then a jerky boy sends peppy Angela into the dumps, tough Maddie makes a mistake that has the whole school talking, and good girl Zoe gets in over her head with a flirty teacher. Will the winsome threesome make it through the year? (book back blurb)

I bought ttyl from a library book sale simply because it was on a banned books list and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

While I liked the execution of the story (complete IM chats), I found the overall plot kind of bland. It succeeded in that I felt like I was reading the chat transcripts of a bunch of real life teens but I think it's because of that that I was just bored with it. It came complete with its own high school drama and even though I only had the points of view of these three girls, I still felt the anger, the love, the awkwardness and everything else they were feeling. I felt like I was eavesdropping in on their conversations. I just didn't find it particularly interesting. Compelling enough but I'm not rarin' to read ttfn or anything.

In terms of banned bookage, of course it's rather insipid. There was a mention of female ejaculation. For shame! A natural bodily function! What's next, farts? And then there was a brother's girlfriend's unshaven muffin popping out of a bikini. That one had me gagging. Respect your fellow man, lady! And you had your token sex talks and swear but no teenage conversation would be complete without those things. An awkward and inappropriate student/teacher relationship was even thrown in too. Apparently the text speak is an issue but I'm not sure how that's even ban-worthy. OMG they're spelling laugh like laff! The horror! When the challengers can speak, write and spell in proper English, then I'll give them some leeway. Until then, they can shut their holes.

I don't see anything ban-worthy in this book. If parents are up in arms about female ejaculation, what's next? Denying their daughters information on their periods? Let's not stifle a teen's need to ask questions. Parents are supposed to be there to answer them, not keep them in the dark. They're failing as parents if they keep their kids ignorant.


brizmus said...

sounds to me totally not ban-worthy and totally not like a book I would like to read.
Thanks for the review!

Melissa said...

This book doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, but I still don't think it should be banned. Nevertheless, great honest review :)

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

i agree, the banning is ridiculous. ugh. nice review :)

kimmyblair said...

Hey! I decided to check out your blog after seeing the link on Steph Su Reads' blog. I'm also taking part of the Banned Books Reading Challenge and was thinking of reading ttyl so I wanted to check out what you thought of it. Thanks for sharing such an great review!

Em said...

I am really curious about these books and really scared at the same time - i.e. I want to read them to see what the experience of reading a book written in IM text is like, but think that experience might not be so great. Oh and also, I can't recall what book it was, but I'm pretty sure that a book (likely bookS) has been challenged for talking about farting.

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